About the Project

Following construction, T-Ports commenced limited operation of grain export from the Lucky Bay Common User Export Facility in 2020.

To further enhance the operation of the facility, T-Ports has sought and received development approval to extend the channel from the Lucky Bay Common User Export Facility approximately 1400 metres into the Spencer Gulf (a 900 metre extension to existing 500 metre long channel). The extended channel will have a navigable depth of approximately 3.8 metres at lowest astronomical tide. The greater depth will allow each vessel to carry more grain, reducing the number of vessel movements and providing additional safety margin.

The Coast Protection Board (CPB) and Environment Protection Authority (EPA) do not support the continued disposal of dredge spoil on the beach at Lucky Bay. Subsequently, two land-based locations have been identified to the west and north-west of the harbour for dewatering and disposal of dredge spoil.

Material that is suitable for future beach nourishment will be separately stockpiled and used for this purpose in the future.

Project Benefits


Improved navigation to allow the safe passage of vessels into and out of Lucky Bay harbour.


Ongoing efficient operation of the Lucky Bay Common User Export Facility.


Reduce risk of impact on the marine environment by dewatering dredge spoil and disposing of material on-land.


Reduced operational impacts adjacent the Lucky Bay shack settlement.

Project Reports

A range of regulatory reports have been prepared to inform the operation and management of the project. T-Ports commits to the availability of a range of documents. This information will be updated and revised periodically.

Overall Site Plan

Channel Extension Plan

Dredge Spoil Site Arrangement

Community and Stakeholder Engagement Plan


Who will be responsible for the dredging works?

T-Ports will be responsible for the dredging project. T-Ports has contracted a specialist dredging company (Maritime Constructions) with vast experience in dredging to undertake the works. T-Ports has worked extensively with the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) to ensure it meets the stringent environmental standards outlined in the EPA Dredge Management Guidelines, 2020.

Maritime Constructions are authorised to undertake these works subject to conditions of an Environment Protection Authority (EPA) licence and an approved Dredge Management Plan.

What is the cost of the project?

In excess of $4 million. The project is wholly funded by T-Ports.

When will the works begin and finish?

Works will be undertaken between July 2023 and October 2023 (the timeline may be impacted by weather and the amount of work required). This period was chosen as it is a quieter period on the water. During the dredging works the harbour entrance will still be accessible.

How will the dredge be arranged?

A single dredge with a 3-anchor mooring will be positioned facing east out towards the approach channel with pipe running to the designated disposal site, progressively moving towards the outer extremity of the channel. Anchors stabilising the dredge will be placed 50 metres either side along the length of the dredge.

Will I be able to hear the dredging?

To ensure the dredging works are completed during the seasonal window, works will be undertaken 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, providing it is meeting all EPA noise requirements and EPA regulations.

Typically noise from the dredge and associated machinery is low frequency consistent hum from diesel engines associated with either the dredge or booster pump. Louder activities such as anchor handling or tracking machines will be avoided at night.

There will also be additional noise from civil plant, required to manage (spread and compact) the discharge material.

Methods may be modified, if necessary, based on feedback received. If you have concerns about noise during operations, you can log this with T-Ports on 1800 876 787 (menu 5) or email admin@tports.com.

Where will the materials dredged be taken?

Approximately 80,000 m3 of materials is to be dredged as part of this project. Materials dredged from the channel will be screened and drained at two on-land sites adjacent the harbour before being transported for disposal inland at a former quarry site located on the T-Ports site.

Material that is suitable for future beach nourishment will be separately stockpiled and used for this purpose in the future.

Material that is not suitable for disposal at the former quarry site will be taken to a licensed landfill.

Is native vegetation at risk due to dredging works?

Native vegetation comprising living seagrass meadow, will be cleared from the footprint of the dredging channel. The dredging program has been designed to reduce the risk of impacts on seagrass adjacent to the channel and the wider area (called ‘off-target’ clearance). T-Ports will be required to monitor the health of seagrass in the area for at least five years after the dredging takes place.

Native Vegetation Clearance for the seagrass has been granted approval by the Native Vegetation Council.

A further application for clearance of vegetation on-land where the dewatering is now proposed to take place is currently under assessment by the Native Vegetation Council. The area where the clearance is proposed has previously been disturbed, and whilst rehabilitation has occurred, the condition of the area remains substantially different to other low-lying samphire basins in the locality.

T-Ports must offset any clearance by payment into the State Government Native Vegetation Fund, which is used to support revegetation around South Australia.

Why were the disposal methods chosen?

The Coast Protection Branch, Environment Protection Agency and Department of Environment and Water do not support the continued disposal of dredge spoil onto the beach at Lucky Bay. Operational requirements identified with the dredging methodology, combined with the limited area and topographic profile of the beach would impose significant constraints on dredging, which would result in the dredging taking much longer to complete.

Subsequently, two land-based locations to the west and north-west of the harbour were identified for the dewatering and disposal process. This is to help ensure the longer-term protection of the marine environment.

Will there be an odour from the dredge materials?

Organic material dredged from the channel will be screened, drained and progressively transported to a former quarry site for disposal. Most material will be fresh and not generate persistent odour although the EPA has approved a Dredge Management Plan which identifies that short-term odour may occur.

The dewatering of the material on land will result in dredged material being handled a significantly greater distance from the shacks than previous maintenance dredging campaigns.

If you have concerns about odour during operations, you can log this with T-Ports on 1800 876 787 (menu 5) or email admin@tports.com.

Do I need to be concerned about air quality and dust from the works?

Air quality and dust management is low risk from this dredging activity. All dredge spoil is discharged wet as a slurry and civil plant will continually be working in wet areas.

If you have concerns regarding air quality and dust during operations, you can log this with T-Ports on 1800 876 787 (menu 5) or email admin@tports.com.

What is the impact on the marine environment due to dredging works?

The proposal should result in reduced risk of environmental harm to the areas of the marine park because the dewatering and disposal of dredge spoil is being shifted to a land-based location.

A Seagrass Monitoring Plan has been prepared to manage seagrass impact. The Seagrass Management Plan will be modified as necessary to ensure it meets EPA licence conditions. Monitoring will occur prior to and directly after construction, as well as additional monitoring surveys post-dredging at a time that is representative of potential impacts due to operation of the channel.

The contractor is required to visually monitor the presence of marine mammals around the site and look for any unusual behaviour. Dolphins, turtles and whales are known to proactively enter proximity (<50 metres) of a working dredge and may take advantage of feeding opportunities. If any dolphins, turtles or whales are spotted within dangerous proximity, dredging will cease until they move away from the area.

All marine fauna sightings will be logged by the dredge operator, including behaviour and actions taken, if required.

Further Information

T-Ports is committed to engaging with the community and the fishing industry to accommodate and minimise impacts as much as possible during this important project.

If you have concerns or general comments regarding the project, or you would like a representative from the project team to contact you, please complete a Community Feedback Form.

For more details or to subscribe for updates please;

1800 876 787 (menu 5)